At Lutheran Church of Our Saviour I’ve started to gather with people from our congregation at the local pub. No, we’re not going for the drink specials, we’re going because they have napkins; large white napkins with plenty of space for sketching new ideas and reflecting upon God’s invitation to our Church family. Something exciting happens when people get together and share ideas because we start to see that God is working in the hearts of his children, seeding dreams and developing gifts. By the end of our evening, we walk away with vision and hope for the Church (not to mention a stack of napkins with sketches and ideas).
The Church is starting to dream in new ways. I was pleased to hear about a one day event called the Whiteboard Sessions held in Virginia:
The Whiteboard Sessions is a one-day conference about ideas in ministry – ideas that will stretch our thinking and shape the church’s future. Seven, influential leaders will have 30 minutes each to present one, compelling idea. This could be a biblical conviction, a proven strategy, a recent epiphany, or even a raw, untested theory.
Today, more than ever, we need to reacquaint ourselves with the napkin and whiteboard. We need to dream of new approaches to leadership training and rethink our Seminary systems. We need to open our eyes to a lack of Church planting in the last several decades and dream of new ways to establish communities of Faith. We need to gather together and allow for innovative conversations and take measured risks. Will you join the conversation? There’s a napkin with your name on it!
Check out our own “napkin” dreaming event here in Calgary at whatif2010.ca.
We discussed in small groups during this last Sunday’s sermon those things that fertilize our faith life and those things that kill it. The use of napkins and whiteboards are what the church needs to use to let people remember that they are the church.
You might also want to read “The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures” by Dan Roam. It is great.
I suppose there is no rule that a book discussion in a church context has to be a Christian focused book.